The Mountaineer is the official mascot of the West Virginia University Mountaineers
One of the favorite West Virginia University athletic traditions is the Mountaineer mascot. The Mountaineer mascot first appeared at WVU football games during the thirties. A new Mountaineer is selected each year by the Mountain Honorary, West Virginia’s prestigious senior honorary.
The WVU Mountaineer’s costume is customized to fit each recipient, and male Mountaineers grow long, bushy beards to go with the coonskin cap and rifle, although the beard is not a requirement for the mascot position.
The first down cheer is another WVU tradition and is heard during home football games prior to the announcement of a first down. Mountaineer fans raise their hands and cheer in unison until the first down call is made. Following the call, the fans lift their arms up-and down three times, clap, and then signal to the end zone chanting first down.